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John Farrell: ‘There are many, many players eager to re-write the story’ of 2012 01.25.13 at 7:48 am ET
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Even from a distance, John Farrell knew how disastrous 2012 was for the Red Sox. And he knew many of the players on the roster even before he accepted the job of Red Sox manager.

In the three months since, he’s gotten a strong indication from those he’s spoken with that the team is eager to get to work and make amends.

It wasn’t long ago – 2010 to be exact – that Farrell was Terry Francona‘s pitching coach, giving daily advice to the likes of Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. He knows very well the tendencies of Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz.

Still, he was asked Thursday at the Boston baseball writers’ annual dinner, does he know what he’s getting into?

“Yeah, and I think we have a very good roster,” Farrell said. “I like our team as it stands today. We haven’t even gotten to spring training yet. But not only the talent that Ben and the staff brought in but the people they are. From Day 1 of being named to this position and talking to players throughout the offseason, there are many, many players that are eager to re-write the story that took place a year ago, and all are looking forward to getting on the field in Fort Myers.”

Farrell also knows the organization has brought back star players like Jason Varitek and now former ace pitcher Pedro Martinez to offer their advice as organizational assistants.

“A lot of experience,” Farrell said. “A lot of great pitching experience. He and Tek being back in our organization, in roles where they can they afford and give back to the young players that are coming through the system right now, and really even at the big league level, to give advice. This is a unique place, where you have the ability of having two guys who have had the success they’ve had to have them accessible to our players. … it’s going to be an asset for all of us.”

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Jason Varitek, John Farrell, pedro martinez
Terry Francona jokes with John Farrell: ‘I think your owners suck’ 01.24.13 at 4:25 pm ET
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Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona has always loved a good joke.

So, when good friend, former pitching coach and new Red Sox manager John Farrell walked into the Essex meeting room of the Copley Westin, he couldn’t resist.

“I just want to get this over with, just for the sake of it, I think your owners suck,” Francona said, shortly after giving him a warm embrace during the media availability prior to the annual Red Sox writers’ dinner in Boston.

Any serious advice for Farrell from Francona?

“Not to open your mouth like I do,” Francona said. “No, he doesn’t need my advice. We were not as good a team when he left. I’ve said this a lot of times, when he came back, the glass got half-full again with a lot of players, as it should. Except for when we’re playing him, I’ll be a big fan. He knows that.”

Farrell left after the 2010 season to manage the Blue Jays in 2011-12.

Oh, and one more thing for the record from Francona:

“And I didn’t mean that, by the way,” Francona said, referring to his opening line.

Farrell, playing the role of straight man, followed up by acknowledging Francona’s impact over eight seasons in Boston, including two World Series titles.

“It’s an exciting one, one I’m privileged to be in,” Farrell said. “And if I could have half the success that Tito had while he was here and what the Red Sox went through in the eight years that he was [manager]. He’s had one heckuva run here in Boston.”

Read More: Boston Red Sox, John Farrell, MLB, Terry Francona
John Farrell on leaving Blue Jays: ‘I’ll be forever indebted to the Toronto Blue Jays’ 10.23.12 at 4:00 pm ET
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There are two sides to every story. With John Farrell, there are the people in Boston who are grateful to have him back where he helped build a pitching staff that dominated in the late 2000s and produced a World Series champion in 2007.

In Toronto, he is looked at as the man who left the Blue Jays at moment’s notice, never giving full allegiance to a franchise that gave him his first big league managerial experience.

Blue Jays president Paul Beeston and general manager Alex Anthopoulos agreed over the weekend to trade John Farrell and pitcher David Carpenter to the the Red Sox in exchange for Mike Aviles.

On Tuesday, during his introductory news conference as the 46th manager in Red Sox history, there were several reporters from Toronto who made the trip south to ask him how and why he left the Blue Jays after two non-winning seasons, which included an 89-loss campaign in 2012.

“It’s with a lot of thanks and great gratitude to the Toronto Blue Jays, to Paul, to Alex, the opportunity they provided in the two years spent there was invaluable experience. Things might not have always worked out the way we intended but there were a lot of firsts that I was able to experience there, and I’ll be forever be indebted to the Toronto Blue Jays.

“I can honestly tell you it’s allowed me to be that much more prepared standing here than maybe [was] the case two years ago so for that, guys in Toronto, if you’re listening, I appreciate it very much.”

But that wasn’t good enough to appease the media from north of the border. Farrell was asked how he felt about leaving an organization and city that feels betrayed by his departure and suggestions that his heart was never in Toronto. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: alex anthopoulos, Boston Red Sox, John Farrell, MLB
Potential Red Sox 2013 draft pick: Stanford RHP Mark Appel 09.18.12 at 4:14 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Red Sox when it comes to the 2013 MLB draft. For the first time since 1993, the Red Sox have a top-10 selection and will be drafting seventh. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Red Sox to make a selection.

MARK APPEL

Position: RHP

School: Stanford

Born: July 15, 1991

Height/weight: 6-foot-5, 210 pounds

Bats/throws: R/R

2013 class: Senior

Previously drafted: 2009, 15th round, Tigers;  2012, first round (No. 8 overall), Pirates

Achievements: 2012 National College Pitcher of the Year, 2012 first team Collegiate Baseball All-America, 2012 first team NCBWA All-America, 2012 second team Baseball America All-America, 2012 second team Perfect Game All-America, 2012 first team All-Pac 12, 2012 Stanford Regional Most Outstanding Player, 2011 USA Baseball collegiate national team, 2011 No. 1 prospect on Team USA by Baseball America, 2011 No. 2 prospect on Team USA by Perfect Game, 2011 No. 2 prospect in CCBL by Perfect Gam, 2010 NECBL All-Star

What he brings: Appel has a four-seam fastball that he commands well and that reportedly has touched the high 90s while sitting comfortably around 94-96. He features what is widely described as a plus swing-and-miss changeup and a breaking ball — typically characterized as a slider, though some note that it more closely resembles a curveball at times — with above-average action.

Notes: On first appearance, Appel has the prototypical pitcher’€™s physique, possessing the look of an innings-eater. He is tall and strong through his core, allowing him to maintain balance and repeat his delivery. Some scouts have likened him to a Matt Cain. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2013 MLB Draft, Boston Red Sox, mark appel, MLB
Potential Red Sox 2013 draft pick: Indiana State LHP Sean Manaea 09.13.12 at 11:25 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Red Sox when it comes to the 2013 MLB draft. For the first time since 1993, the Red Sox have a top-10 selection and will be drafting seventh. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Red Sox to make a selection.

SEAN MANAEA

Position: LHP

School: Indiana State

Born: Feb. 1, 1992

Height/weight: 6-foot-5, 215 pounds

Bats/throws: L/L

2013 Class: Junior

Previously drafted: Never drafted

Achievements: 2012 Cape Cod League Outstanding Pro Prospect Award, 2012 Cape Cod League Pitcher of the Year, 2012 Cape Cod League All-Star, 2012 All-MVC second team, 2011 Prospect League All-Star, 2011 No. 1 Prospect in the Prospect League by Perfect Game

What he brings: Other than his fastball, which sits consistently at 91-92 mph with occasional spikes as high as 96, Manaea needs to develop his secondary pitches a bit further. It has been noted that he does have issues sustaining his velocity deep into games.

His slider is good when it is on, as is his change. Historically his problem has been consistency.

Notes: Manaea had a modest prospect profile before an absolutely dominant summer in the Cape League vaulted him among the top prospects entering the 2012 draft. He posted a 5-1 record with a 1.22 ERA in nine Cape League games, eight of which were starts. In 51 2/3 innings of work he allowed only 21 hits, three home runs and seven walks while striking out a remarkable 85 batters (which equates to a 14.8 K/9 ratio) — surpassing the 82 punchouts that Daniel Bard had in 2005 for the most in a summer by a Cape League in what was described as “recent memory” — while walking just seven and forging an incredible 0.55 WHIP.

His 2012 numbers with Indiana State were solid but far less glamorous. He had a 5-3 record, a 3.34 ERA, 115 strikeouts and 37 walks in 105 innings in the Missouri Valley Conference — part of the reason why his Cape League dominance yielded a dramatic increase in his prospect stock.

Links:

Big League Futures

Baseball America Cape League Hot Sheet

Watch more All-star Game videos on Frequency
Read More: 2013 MLB Draft, Boston Red Sox, Potential Red Sox draft pick 2013, sean manaea
David Ortiz reminds fans: ‘I like to play no matter what the situation is’ 08.26.12 at 4:12 pm ET
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David Ortiz may be on the verge of being shut down for the season with a right Achilles injury.

But he wants Red Sox fans to know he’d love to play in September, even if the team is already out of playoff contention.

“I don’t really care about that,” Ortiz said Sunday morning. “I like to play. When I’m good, I like to play no matter what the situation is. You guys [media] know that, you guys have been watching me for years. It’s not the first time we’ve been out of contention and me shutting it down for any particular reason. I like to play. I like to be on the field. I know the fans like to come and watch me play like they come watch everyone else play. It’s our job when we are healthy, to be on the field, no question. Nothing else I would like to do more than be on the field. I enjoy that. You have to be healthy for that.”

Ortiz appeared to aggravate his right Achilles injury on Friday night legging out a double.

“Any injury can be really bad if you push it when you’re not ready,” Ortiz said. “In my case, I just want to make sure I’m 100 percent, and if I’m good, I’m good. All you guys know that I love being on the field and doing my thing but you have to be ready for that.

“On my way to be what I want to be but I take no time, and it takes a different process I have to approach. It’s either that or get worse, and I’m not planning on getting worse.”

Ortiz continues to battle lingering soreness and said before Sunday’s game that he should know by the “end of the day” whether he will end his season and focus on fully healing the injury. After Sunday’s game, he modified his sense of the situation, saying “nothing’s changed” and no decision had been made.

Ortiz missed 35 games with the right Achilles injury before returning Friday and going 2-for-4 with a double. It was while rounding first and heading for second on the double that Ortiz felt significant soreness, indicating to him that the injury had not fully healed. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Achilles, Bobby Valentine, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz
James Loney: ‘I know they’re always trying to build a championship team here’ at 2:58 pm ET
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James Loney knows full well what he’s getting into.

The 28-year-old veteran first baseman arrived in Boston Sunday as the only major league-ready player to come from the Dodgers in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto. He knows what kind of year it’s been in Boston.

‘€œI knew a bunch of those guys that got traded,” Loney said in the Sunday press conference before going out and making his Red Sox debut at first base. “I know a bunch of guys here still but I know they’€™re always trying to build a championship team here. I know it didn’€™t work out and this year I guess there were some things going on.’€

He’s heard all about playing in the intense baseball market of Boston from the outside. Now, he gets to experience it first hand.

‘€œI’€™ve heard that,” Loney said. “You hear that. I think a lot of big-market, big city teams are like that. You don’€™t think about it when you’€™re out there. You just go out and play.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adrian gonzalez, Boston Red Sox, carl crawford, Dustin Pedroia
Ben Cherington: Blockbuster ‘was not a trade to fix a cultural problem’ 08.25.12 at 8:51 pm ET
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The widely held perception was that there was a cultural and chemistry problem in the Red Sox clubhouse prior to the blockbuster trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Dodgers. That may very well have been the case but Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington made it very clear Saturday that wasn’t the reason he pulled the trigger on the franchising-changing deal.

“The culture will feel better when we start winning more games, this was about creating an opportunity to build a better team moving forward, it was not a trade that was made to try to fix a cultural problem,” Cherington said. “It was about opportunity, giving us opportunity moving forward. The culture will feel very good when we do the things that have made us good over time, things that help us win games. When we do those things, the culture will feel good.”

Since Sept. 1, 2011, the Red Sox were 67-86 entering Saturday. To Cherington, that’s the only stat that mattered.

“The bottom line is that we haven’t won enough games,” Cherington said. “That goes back to last September. We haven’t performed on the field as a team. We’ve had individuals perform and this is not about the four players we gave up, anything they did particularly wrong. We just haven’t performed as a team when we needed to. As we looked at, we felt that in order to get to a team that we believe in, a team that our fans deserve, a team that is a winner and sustains winning year after year, it was going to take more than cosmetic changes. It was going to take something more bold and then it was up to us to go take advantage of that opportunity, execute and go make good decisions. Again, a lot of things go into winning. The roster is part of it. Personnel on the roster is part of it. This is a significant step towards giving us a chance to reshape what the roster looks like.”

When you clear over $260 million in future committed payroll, Cherington realizes you need the work of ownership. Cherington was quick to thank owner John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner for working with Magic Johnson and the new baseball ownership group with the Dodgers.

“In any deal, as I think you all know, ownership is involved and it’s a collaborative process,” Cherington said. “Certainly on a deal this big, it required a real team effort. John, Tom and Larry were all heavily involved. They all had a specific role in this over the last several days. There were conversations at the ownership level between the two teams, certainly between myself and Ned. And then a lot of conversations in between, between myself, John, Tom, and Larry.

“It was a true team effort, and we worked together to pull of a trade that we feel is the right thing for the franchise right now and gives us an opportunity going forward.”

Cherington promised fans that the commitment to fielding a winning team is still there.

‘€œIt’€™s pretty easy to look at our performance on the field and recognize that it’€™s not good enough,I think that’€™s where it all starts,” Cherington said. “That’€™s where the evaluation starts. The great thing about this game is you have a sort of tangible answer every night of how good you are and this year we’€™ve been not good enough on too many nights. It starts there and that part is pretty easy. What leads to that, trying to figure out what causes that, yeah, that can be more difficult. Part of it’€™s the player/personnel, the roster; part of it’€™s other things. We need to examine all of it. Again, it’€™s on us. This is part of what gives us an opportunity, this trade, but it’€™s on us to examine all areas and make sure that we are building a team and a standard that we’€™ve come to expect, the guys here deserve and the fans deserve.’€

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David Ortiz looks likely for return Friday, Felix Doubront next on Sunday and Adrian Gonzalez is a ‘warrior’ 08.23.12 at 7:57 pm ET
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While the Red Sox announced the “successful” Tommy John surgery on the left elbow of Carl Crawford Thursday in Pensacola, Fla, this could be a weekend of returns at Fenway Park.

David Ortiz is on tap to return Friday to a lineup that has struggled badly without him. Lefty Felix Doubront will start Sunday. And then there’s Daisuke Matsuzaka.

After going through a series of running tests for over 10 minutes and taking live batting practice on Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park, Ortiz is on schedule to make his return on Friday against the Royals, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine announced Thursday afternoon. Ortiz has been on the disabled list since July 17 with an injured right Achilles, suffered while running the bases on an Adrian Gonzalez homer the night before.

“It looked like David got through everything perfectly,” Valentine said. “He was running the bases. [Thursday] was the day he was going to run the bases, which he hadn’t done yet. He had run sprints and done other things. He ran the bases, we’re going to see how he gets through it. If he gets through, we’re planning on hopefully activating him [Friday].”

In 89 games this season with the Red Sox, Ortiz is batting .316 with 23 homers and 58 RBIs, slugging at a team-best .609 rate and an OPS of 1.023. The Red Sox have missed his huge bat and production, going just 13-21 in his absence.

Another Red Sox slugger – Adrian Gonzalez – got the night off from playing first base, serving as the DH on Thursday. He responded promptly with an RBI single to score Dustin Pedroia in the first inning.

“While we can, we might as well rest his legs a little,” Valentine said of Gonzalez, who has 14 extra-base hits and 23 RBIs in August. “He’s such a warrior out there every day. He can just work on his swing and not worry about playing that great defense he plays every day.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Daisuke Matsuzaka, David Ortiz, felix doubront
Thursday’s Red Sox-Angels matchups: Franklin Morales vs. C.J. Wilson at 9:36 am ET
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Franklin Morales takes the mound at Fenway Thursday night as the Red Sox wrap up their three-game series with the Angels.

The 26-year-old Venezuelan was strong in his first start since returning from the bullpen Aug. 5, earning a win with six innings of one-run ball against the Twins, but has pitched progressively worse in his two outings since.

Morales allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings on Aug. 11 as the Sox fell to the Indians. In his last outing Friday night in the Bronx, the Yankees got to him for five runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings in the Sox’ 6-4 loss.

On the year, Morales is 3-3 with a 3.67 ERA but has had trouble at home, as his ERA jumps to 5.16 at Fenway. Having spent the majority of his career with Colorado, he has only faced four current Angels who have a combined two singles and no walks in six plate appearances.

Acquired by the Angels in the offseason for $77.5 million over five years, C.J. Wilson (9-9, 3.62 ERA) heads to the hill Thursday, hoping he can help his team continue to make up ground in the standings against his former club, the Rangers.

The lefty had a terrific start to the season, entering the All-Star break at 9-5 with a 2.43 ERA but has struggled since, going 0-4 with a 6.48 ERA in eight starts. Opponents’€™ batting average against Wilson is up almost 100 points in the second half, from .202 to .295 as the Angels have won just once (against the Royals) since July 6 with the 31-year-old on the mound.

Wilson has not faced the Red Sox this year, but over the previous three seasons he is 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA in 10 games against the Sox. He is even better at Fenway, where he boasts a 2-0 record, 0.63 ERA and one save in three games.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adrian gonzalez, Boston Red Sox, C.J. Wilson, Dustin Pedroia
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